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DNR is holding meetings on fishing regulation proposals

DNR is holding meetings on fishing regulation proposals

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit in Fisheries Division has announced meetings in the Lansing, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids areas to discuss local and statewide fishing regulation proposals.

The meetings will be held on the following dates in the following locations:

  • Monday, March 26 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Delta Township Library (5130 Davenport, Lansing)
  • Tuesday, March 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Portage Library (300 Library Lane, Portage)
  • Monday, April 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Plainfield Charter Township Office (6161 Belmont Ave, NE, Belmont)

Several local regulation proposals will be discussed at the meetings, including the following:

  • Removing Bluejay Creek (Berrien County) and Spring Creek (St. Joseph County) from the Designated Trout Streams list.
  • Removing Spring Creek (St.

The Art of Nature at Howard Christensen Nature Center

The Art of Nature at Howard Christensen Nature Center

Do you see beauty in a snow-covered landscape, or does it simply make you want to head to a warmer climate? Many people, even the “snowbirds,” see beauty in nature. During November and December, the Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC) is hosting several workshops and a quilt raffle that are inspired by nature’s beauty.

The Rockford Sportsman’s Club is again showing their support for the educational programs at the nature center by sponsoring the third annual quilt raffle. The prizes for the raffle include a wildlife-themed quilted wall hanging by Sandy Afton, a framed “sand dune” print by Jeanne Rockett, and a 60” wreath created by Kare Greenup. A raffle ticket costs $5 with all proceeds going to the nature center, which is located on 135 acres in the Rogue River State Game Area.

Unique Peek At Feathered Friends

Unique Peek At Feathered Friends

Rockford residents and Rockford Squire correspondents, Cliff and Nancy Hill captured this rare glimpse into mealtime for a bird family.

You can see more of their story (below) in this week's edition of The Rockford Squire.

This beautiful male bluebird is reaching deep into a glass dessert dish in order to pick-up offered wax worms/mealworms.  Mr. Bluebird is capable of handling 6 at a time in order to return to a nearby nesting box where Mrs. Bluebird and 6 fledgling chicks await.

If you are fortunate enough to have a nesting bluebird family on your property, you can purchase mealworms locally at Mrs. O's Bait & Tackle in downtown Rockford. Bluebirds love these tasty little morsels so much that they oftentimes can be coaxed to feed directly from your hand. photos by Cliff Hill   p.s. Mealworms/wax worms can be purchased at any bait & tackle store selling live bait.

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

Meet Bella, Bucky and Barry:

We leave the urban wildlife in Forest Hills and head to our cabin in Wisconsin.  In Michigan, you would call our cabin a cottage.  In Wisconsin, they are known as cabins.  Anyway I digress - our cabin is on 10 hilly acres of grassland in the bluff country of southern Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin is known as the dairy state, but the “state animal” is not a cow.  It’s the badger.  Yes, Wisconsinites have seen Bucky the Badger, the University of Wisconsin’s mascot.  But very few of them have ever seen a real badger.  Our property in Wisconsin was invaded by three badgers last year!!!!

The first sign of a badger invasion:

The first sign of the badger invasion was the yard, which was dug up.  Badgers prefer to live in open grasslands, fields and pastures.  My husband mows about four acres of our property and lets the rest of the grasses grow wild.

A break from urban wildlife for a day at the beach

A break from urban wildlife for a day at the beach

LAKE MICHIGAN -  Even a dog has to take a break from all the excitement of his backyard kingdom.  On this sunny summer day, George, my husband, and I head to the beach.  Our friends, Nancy and Don, own a cottage on Lake Michigan, and they have invited the three of us to spend the day at the beach.

This is George’s first visit to Lake Michigan.  The waves were a little intimidating at first.  He would sniff the water, but he would not allow himself to get wet.  He wouldn’t even dip his paw into the water to check it out.  Then something caught his eye.  George noticed the beautiful white birds walking along the water’s edge.  He tried to get close to these interesting critters, but they would simply fly off.

Silly me, I thought seagulls only lived by the ocean, and then I moved to Michigan and discovered the Big Lake is home to a thriving population of seagulls.  I have since learned that seagulls or gulls will live al

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

George is one of the most good-natured dogs you will ever meet.  I feel bad for him when “Nutty” and his squirrelly friends taunt him.  I think they realize they are safe around George since he is not very fast on his feet.  We have two types of squirrels living in our backyard: several Fox Squirrels and one American Red Squirrel.

Fox Squirrels are the largest squirrels in Michigan.  They are sometimes confused with the slightly smaller Eastern Gray Squirrel.  The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is Fox Squirrels have reddish-orange bellies, while their cousins, the Gray Squirrels, have white bellies.

Urban Wildlife - Meet Hawkeye

Urban Wildlife - Meet Hawkeye

Hawkeye” is the most feared creature in our urban forest.  I think the critters fear him even more than “Kitty”, the neighborhood’s gray tabby.

The critters (birds and the four legged kind) must have a sixth sense.  They will be happily eating and all of sudden they all scatter.  Several seconds later, Hawkeye will fly over the backyard or land in a nearby tree.

I think Hawkeye is a Cooper’s Hawk.  The most common urban hawk is the Cooper’s Hawk, which can be confused with the smaller look-alike Sharp-shinned Hawk.